A New High-touch, Low-tech Approach to Summer Learning is Increasing Student engagement in West Philadelphia
This article was originally published by Penn GSE News.
For the last six weeks, Henry C. Lea Elementary in West Philadelphia has been humming with excitement and energy as students joyfully engage with interesting, colorful educational content. The activity is part of a joint pilot led by the Barbara and Edward Netter Center for Community Partnerships and Penn GSE, which has kids from kindergarten to third grade engrossed, immersed, and learning.
“The last two years [gave] us a lot of information about what works and what doesn’t. Really listening to the teachers and being creative about how instructional teams could be built for closer support of kids were really at the heart of this new model,” said Caroline Watts, a senior lecturer, and director of Penn GSE’s Office of School and Community Engagement (OSCE).
Although this is the third summer of the Netter Center and Penn GSE collaboration, the program is being considered a pilot. That’s because this year, the learning model was radically altered. Instead of 45-minute blocks modeled to be like regular classes, students now cycle through stations within the classroom and work through smaller, more gamified tasks.